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First NZDF Boeing 757 arrives

7 May 2003
Media Statement

First Boeing 757 arrives


Minister of Defence Mark Burton has today welcomed the first of two Boeing 757 aircraft to Rongotai Air Force Base.

“The New Zealand Defence Force continues to evolve to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. This evolution can be seen in the policies that have been established over the last three years, in the extensive re-equipment decisions that we are now making, and in the wide range of tasks currently being undertaken by the NZDF.

“The arrival of this Boeing 757 aircraft represents the latest step in delivering on this government’s goal of a strong, multi-faceted air transport fleet, capable of meeting New Zealand’s defence requirements.

“The RNZAF is involved in a hugely diverse range of tasks— both for the NZDF and in conjunction with other agencies—including peace support operations, emergency medical evacuations, disaster and humanitarian relief, military exercises, VIP transport, Antarctic supply flights, and search and rescue missions, among many others. This varied role means that the NZDF air transport fleet must be flexible in its capability in order to meet these requirements effectively.

“The purchase of two 757s will ensure that we have reliable aircraft to perform these duties. These aircraft will be able to take over many troop transport duties immediately, and will become fully cargo-capable after scheduled modifications are completed—a process expected to begin by the end of this year.

“All three services of the NZDF perform their duties with outstanding success, sometimes under extremely demanding circumstances. NZDF personnel are engaged in a wide variety of tasks around the world, making a significant contribution to the peace and security of our world.

“I am proud to be a part of this government’s ongoing investment in our service men and women of the NZDF.”

ENDS

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